National Gallery

National Gallery extends opening hours to combat decreased visitor capacity

Article: David Styles | Image: © National Gallery, London

Due to high demand for tickets since reopening post-lockdown, the National Gallery has taken the decision to extend its opening hours.

From Wednesday 22nd July the National Gallery will open until 6pm every day except Friday, when the venue will remain open to 9pm. This extension to its previous schedule comes in response heightened interest in pre-booked tickets, particularly for the Titian: Love, Desire, Death exhibition.

“We started welcoming visitors again on Wednesday 8th July after an unprecedented 111 days with the doors closed. We wanted to use these early days of reopening to make sure we were offering the very best visitor experience in the very safest way, before increasing the number of visitors we can let in,” explains Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery.

“Having successfully reopened and with huge demand from the public for our once in a lifetime Titian exhibition, we are delighted to now extend our opening hours by two hours daily.”

All visits still need to be booked in advance online as the Gallery works to limit queueing and keep unnecessary contact to a minimum. Two metre social distancing measures remain in place throughout the venue, and three one-way art routes have been introduced to guide visitors safely through exhibition spaces. These are accessible via a free-to-download smartphone app.

The National Gallery has also introduced enhanced cleaning regimes and installed higher efficiency filters in its air conditioning system. All staff have been issued with PPE, Perspex screens are in place at all counters and hand sanitiser is available at regular intervals throughout the building – all to maximise visitor confidence in returning.